Linger

Edward

The car takes a stomach turning lurch over a dip in the road, and I find myself grabbing onto the side of my seat to steady myself. "Fuck!" I mutter under my breath.

Carlisle takes his eyes off the road long enough to shoot me a disapproving glance. His brows are furrowed together, but there are no lines marring the smoothness of his forehead. "Watch your mouth," he tells me.

I mime the act of zipping my lips shut and return my gaze to the road.

There was a time when I used to love cars, when I couldn't get enough of their speed and their beautiful streamlined forms, but now I can't stand being in the fucking things. Being inside Uncle Carlisle's flashy Mercedes—a two-ton metal projectile that can turn into a twisted coffin at any second—puts me on edge and makes me testy.

"Fuck fuck fuckity fuck," I sing under my breath, watching Carlisle out of the corner of my eye for his reaction. His face remains expressionless, so I move on to another tactic, another little ditty that I think he'll like even more. "Shut your fucking face, Uncle Fucka. You're a boner biting bastard Uncle Fucka."

Carlisle's elegant surgeon's fingers curl around the steering wheel, his knuckles going white from the effort of keeping his hands there instead of letting it fly up and smack me across the face, as he obviously wants to do. "Southpark?" he asks, playing the hip young dude who's down with all the things that the youth of today are. He tries so hard with his fluffed up hair and trendy jeans, torn and faded in strategic places.

I nod in response. "One of the best musical numbers of our time, don't you think? It's right up there with 'The Sound of Music'."

Carlisle has nothing more to say to me. On the back seat, my best friend Emmett continues to hum the Uncle Fucka tune. Part of the reason that I'd decided to leave my life in Hollywood behind and come to godforsaken Forks, the puckered, stinking asshole of the Olympic Peninsula, was the hope that Emmett's ghost would quit haunting me, that placing distance between myself and the place where he was buried would do the trick, but here he is. Still here to torment me and remind me that I'd killed him through my carelessness.

Like I've already mentioned before, I was something of a speed freak in my life before. I got a lot of money out of my acting gigs. Indecent amounts of money that no reckless twenty year old guy should ever have access to, and a small chunk of that went toward souping up my Volvo so that it went from 0 to 120 in a matter of five seconds. When you were going places like Edward Cullen was, and are all about the upward mobility, then obviously you're going to be needing a pretty sweet ride to race around in.

I think it's becoming pretty clear that I am a cocky guy—or was, anyway, before fate decided to smack me back down into my place. The old Edward Cullen could never pass up on a street challenge. When that fucking Honda with the garish red racing stripes pulled up next to me at a streetlight and revved up its engine in an obvious invitation for a race, I was all up for it. Emmett was with me at the time, sitting in the passenger seat, and he goaded me on, so I pressed down on the accelerator and speeded off through the twisting roads of West Hollywood with the Honda trying to keep pace beside me.

Elated by the obvious superiority of my sweet ride, I take one hand off the steering wheel to slap Emmett a high five. That was when all hell broke loose. I accidentally jarred the steering wheel sharply to one side, sending it off course. The car rolled over the sideway and plowed into a 60mph sign with such force that Emmett was thrown into the windshield. His head cracked like an egg thrown onto the sidewalk, his blood splattered along the spiderweb cracks on the class and created a grotesque abstract painting of gray matter and vitreous body fluids.

He died instantly, his life cut abruptly short because of me.

If I hadn't been so intent on showing that challenger that my dick was the size of my forearm by flaunting the bad-assness of my big boy toy car, then maybe my best friend would still be alive and I wouldn't have to hide myself away from the media frenzy at some hodink town named after cutlery.

I hate myself for what I've done, and sometimes I'm glad that Emmett is sticking around to haunt me, because this way I'll never stop hurting. I deserve it. I deserve to be reminded every day of my unforgivable sin. And in a way, I'm glad that I haven't completely lost him because he's been a part of my life for so long, that I couldn't imagine being without him.

The memory of that night continues to shake me to the core. Each time I close my eyes, I am forced to relive the moment when Emmett's spirit vacates his body, his blue eyes growing as empty and expressionless as those of a China doll's glass eyes. I'd held him as he'd died. I felt it when he took his last breath and went limp, his body now nothing more than an empty husk, his essence departed too soon.

So now I don't sleep, in order to escape my dreams that are filled with the sound of rubber tires screeching against the pavement, of the dull, meaty thud of Emmett's head striking the grass. It repeats, over and over again, the horrible, heart stopping soundtrack to a horror show that torments me and leeches me of all hope and desire to continue with my glamorous, yet immensely shallow life as one of Hollywood's It Boys.

It's better that I rot away here in the middle of nowhere.

It is the ending that I deserve.

"We're here," Carlisle announces. The car pulls up into a long driveway before an impressive mansion that is all sparkling glass under the morning sunlight. The massive house is surrounded by a mass of green trees that strain their heavily leaf laden branches towards the bright heights of heaven; a place that I now doubt I'd even see for myself. Not after what I've done.

I decide, within seconds, that I already hate the place.

"Welcome to Forks, Edward," Carlisle says to me. He tries to sound happy and enthusiastic about the fact that I'm here, but he fails miserably. "I'm sure that you'll love it here."